Independent living schemes have given residents a new lease of life

  • 20th May 2021
  • News

Residents of an independent living scheme in Whitehaven have praised the ‘lifechanging’ impact, that moving into Castles & Coasts Housing Association’s Dickinson Court, in Whitehaven town centre, has had on their mental and physical health, over the past 12 months.

Mr Chambers, 72, found himself housebound after being ill and had to rely on his family for support with everyday errands, from shopping to household chores.

Mr Chambers said that living alone, on the outskirts of Whitehaven, made him feel lonely and prevented him from accessing services in the town centre. As a result, he decided that the time had come to give up his home and move closer to his loved ones and the town centre.

After liaising with his family, Mr Chambers visited Dickinson Court, which offers safe and secure independent living accommodation, for the over 55s, and he was successful in his application for an apartment.

Mr Chambers has lived in his new home for just over a year, and he has spoken about the change he has seen in his quality of life, as a result.

He said: “After being ill, I knew the time had come to move closer to my family, and Dickinson Court was just ideal. It’s right in the heart of the town centre and just 500 yards from family, which means, once Covid is over, they can visit me as many times as they like.”

In what has been a very difficult year, Mr Chambers has found comfort in Castles & Coasts Housing Association’s staff and fellow residents, all of whom have gone out of their way to make him feel at home. Mr Chambers also loves the scheme’s ‘delightful’ communal gardens.

“The staff have been absolutely great,” he added.

“They are all really friendly and have gone out of their way to make me feel at home and have just been a huge support with everything that has been going on this year.

“As well as giving me a sense of community once again, moving to Dickinson Court has also brought me closer to my favourite hobbies. I’ve always had a passion for gardening and, although I was unable to take care of my own garden at home, I’ve been fortunate to have access to the communal gardens, where I’ve planted some of my favourite daffodils.”

Mrs Devlin, 73, was all set to relocate to her apartment in Dickinson Court in March 2020, when the pandemic hit, leaving her feeling isolated in her three-bedroom home.

Fortunately, once lockdown measures began to ease, she was able to relocate to Dickinson Court and she believes the move has “changed her life for the better.”

Living in Whitehaven for the best part of 68 years, Mrs Devlin was familiar with Dickinson Court and she knew many other residents, prior to moving there. Mrs Devlin was delighted by the sense of community that Dickinson Court fosters.

“One of the main reasons I moved was due to my health,” she said. “Travelling any real distance was becoming a challenge for me and I knew I needed to find somewhere new in the town centre, to maintain my independence.

“Having been brought up in Whitehaven, I’ve always loved the central location of Dickinson Court.

“I can’t begin to explain how much of an impact the move has had on my life. When I look back at how I was living in the first lockdown to now, it really has been life changing.”

Castles & Coasts Housing Association own and manage over 20 Independent Living Schemes across Cumbria and the North East, which provide safe and secure accommodation for the over 55s. Castles & Coasts Housing Association currently has a number of independent living apartments available to move into now. For more information, please visit: or call 0800 085 1171.